Neil Heinen has his metaphorical undies in a bunch because he believes the Wisconsin Legislature has sat on its hands for the last year. In a tortured attempt to shoehorn this point into a Christmas theme, he says:
These lawmakers saw the upcoming elections under the tree, all wrapped up with a card that said “To Help You Get What You Really Want Next Year — Re-Election.” Inside the box were instructions to avoid enacting a statewide smoking ban, avoid extending health care to all and above all avoid reforming campaigns and elections. So exchanges are in order. Return to sender and the maybe jump right into New Year’s resolutions like “Do what’s best for the citizens of this state, do what we were elected to do, act like public servants, and justify the public’s trust in us.”
Basically, the Legislature has been ineffective because they didn’t enact all the nutty left wing BS he favors.
Perhaps he is unaware that the Senate’s attempt at cramming a $15.2 billion government-run health plan into the budget jammed up the Legislature for months. Thus, the “health care to all” which he so craves actually caused a great deal of the inaction which he criticizes.
Furthermore, Heinen just naturally assumes that all of these initiatives he espouses are just “no-brainers.” Taking away a citizen’s individual freedom to smoke just makes sense, right? Why can’t Wisconsin enact a health plan that will cost low income workers jobs and drive business out of state? Shouldn’t we be in a rush to spend taxpayer money on campaigns and enact laws silencing citizens who want to have a say in the political process? What gives?
Laughably, he blames all this “inaction” on the fact that there’s an election coming up in 2008. (Hope he has this same script ready for 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, etc.) It’s an assertion without any foundation in reality. Are we to believe that Senate Democrats, in inserting their bogus “Healthy Wisconsin” plan into the budget with one day’s notice, weren’t doing so with an eye towards the next election? Are the only ones being political the ones that opposed throwing out the state’s entire health care infrastructure with about 8 hours’ notice?
Furthermore, he thinks the inability of the Legislature to do the work of the “public” is the result of… elections?Â (For astute political observers, “elections” are the process by which “the public” actually gets to tell government what they want.)Â Apparently, the public can’t be trusted to vote for legislators who do the work of the public.Â Ironically, universal health care is only a vibrant issue right now because Democrats think it’s what the public wants – and they plan to exploit that fact in the upcoming elections.Â Without voting (commonly known as “democracy,”) legislators wouldn’t give a damn what “the people” have to say.Â So what’s the alternative to elections?Â Neil Heinen gets to pick our leaders until they agree to double the state’s tax burden? (In the name of “the public,” of course.)
I recognize that spending this much time deconstructing a Neil Heinen editorial is about as constructive as a college student who gets high and pens a 10-page paper on “The Epistemology of Winnie The Pooh.”Â But this is just indicative of the fraud that continues to be local television news. Basically, all you need is a handful of talking points, and your career is set for a decade – it doesn’t really matter if they’re all contradictory.
This week George Will offers the counterpoint to this nonsense, as he lauds the “Do-Nothing Congress.”